It is the dawn of the 21st century, and the industrialization that took off a few decades short of three centuries ago is now on a new lane. From steam locomotives to electronic bullet trains, station wagons to the birth of electronic driverless cars; let’s keep the list short shall we. Thing is, convenience is high on the platter of modern civilization and what we see is the move from ways that just work to ways that work and are convenient.
What does this have to do with electronic cigarettes you may ask? If you still do not see the connection, then picture this, smoking as we know it goes back at least two millennia. And for a long while through this new age of industrialization its basic form has not seen changes. But concerns existed, from its smell to its addictive tendency and…drum roll…its links with deteriorating health.
The electronic cigarette addressed these concerns, so the pungent smell of tobacco didn’t have to irritate non-users around, so that the percentage of getting addicted significantly reduced till the electronic cigarette became viable in addressing traditional smoking addiction, and lastly so that it posed much lesser health risk. All of this while being touché, durable, and being marginally better assimilated by society.
Making a purchase
On first thought, if one wanted to purchase electronic cigarette, it’d make sense to head to a brick-and-mortar store, a local gas station or one of the big malls. But hold that thought a minute, the e-cigs industry is extensive and there are many variations of e-cigarettes from different manufacturers that’d make your eye pop. Also, models from manufacturers undergo yearly makeovers that may not be covered by most of the offline stores you’d visit. And the last of this is, the right selection of premium e-cigs are not on the store shelves of any of the aforementioned stores.
So you’d ask, what are my options then? All your options are online, I tell you. Like most things electronic, you really do have to know how it works, what it does and why you’re getting it for you to get anywhere near decent efficacy out of the equipment. For the electronic cigarette, the product description on a pack wouldn’t cut it, and don’t go thinking the store keeper or the nice guy designated to help with purchases would know much better.
Sure, you don’t want a class in physics or have to read a technical report, just reviewing a product and doing a little bit of research will do. Next stop, what you should consider when making a purchase of electronic cigarettes.
I want to purchase electronic cigarette: what do I need to know?
For starters, whether you’re a first-time user or not matters. You could as well not be a first-time user, but have had a low-ball experience with a half-baked electronic cigarette you picked up once upon a time, and want to get something much better—in which case you’d also need to make a purchase like a beginner or first time user.
Buying a Starter Kit
Now if you’re in either of the two categories above, you should purchase a starter kit. Starter Kits arm you with the basic accessories of an electric cigarette, so you don’t have to go looking for the several components. Most manufacturers have starter kits: and from the top manufacturers, including V2 cigs, White Cloud, Green Smoke, Pure cigs; you’d be sure to make a premium all-round product purchase.
The following tips should guide your purchase of a starter kit.
• Get at least 2 e-cig batteries. Why you need at least two is because the batteries are rechargeable, and when one is being charged you have another to make use of. To get a clue as to how much you can get out of a battery before it’s useless. A full single charge gets depleted to naught in about 6 hours. And an e-cig battery has a life span of about 300 recharge cycles. You do the math as to many hours you can get out of one e-cig battery. Both estimates are bound to vary across manufacturers, but on the upside the estimates increase with newer models. Lastly, to ensure longer battery lifespan, let the battery run down completely before charging it back up.
• Get as many cartridges as you can afford. To put this into perspective, a cartridge of average-capacity would last as long as a pack of conventional cigarettes. Refillable cartridges are your best bet, and are recommended. But starting out, you do not want to deal with the technicalities of refilling one, so it’s best to get 4 or more, depending on the size of your budget.
• Get a means to recharge your battery with. This would commonly be a USB charger. But you could also buy a car charger. And don’t miss a power adapter if you think it’d come in handy.
If you’re not a new user, then you should be more comfortable making e-cig purchases. However, a brief ground up of the workings of an e-cig, the various categories available in the stores, and the noteworthy features that make certain electronic cigarettes better purchases than others; are necessary before making any more purchases.
How electronic cigarettes function
The basic components of an electronic cigarette include:
• Battery (that is usually rechargeable).
• Cartridge (for storing e-liquid).
• Atomizer (made of a wound element for heating and a wicking material for drawing e-liquid).
In some e-cigs, a single component functions as both the cartridge and atomizer. This device is commonly referred to as a Cartomizer. A portmanteau word from ‘cart’ in cartridge and ‘omizer’ in atomizer.
Collectively, these basic components function thus: the battery produces current that is used by the heating element of the atomizer to heat the e-liquid delivered from the cartridge through the wicking material of the atomizer. The vapor/aerosol that’s produced is then delivered to the user.
Types of electronic cigarettes
Variations in this basic principle of operation is reason for the different types of vaporizer available. Also, certain perks are added by manufacturers to steam up the quality of their models. The principal types of vaporizers include:
• Rechargeable E-cigs
There are 2 major sub-classes of this type of e-cig, the 2-piece design and the 3-piece design. The difference is in the components, while the 2-piece design has the battery and cartomizer, the 3-piece design has a battery, an atomizer and a cartridge. The latter gives its user better control of the quality of vapor, because one is able to change the e-liquid and regulate the resistance (measured in ohms) of the wound element of your atomizer. That way you can try out a juice of different flavor or reduce the temperature of the vapor if it’s giving throat burns.
You’d have to sacrifice your time though for this much control (which frankly is not so much – say within 5 minutes). If you’d rather have simplicity over versatility then the 2-piece design would be your preferred pick.
• Disposable E-cigs
If you miss the conventional cigarette style of crash, burn then repeat; this is for you. When you no longer get vapor on the receiving end of one, it’s time to dish it and get another. The components of a typical e-cig remain the same here: difference is, all components are sealed in.
• E-go E-cigs
These are the bigger variants of the rechargeable electronic cigarettes, toting bigger batteries, increased e-liquid volume and some perks to give them a premium feel. These e-cigs use a standardized 510 threading on their batteries, and owing to a diverse array of cartridges supporting this threading type, you’d never be short on replacements.
• Electronic Cigars
When e-cigarettes hit the market, cigar users had many reasons to expect a variant tailored for them. A short while later, the e-cigar was introduced. The e-cigar is meant to replicate the handling of a cigar stick and the quality aerosol it produces. There are limited flavors and replacement accessories though.
• Personal Vaporizers
These are the cream of the crop of e-cigarettes. Usually preferred by those who’ve established themselves in the use of e-cigarettes, the customization, flexibility in options and added detail make these the most sought after e-cigs. Also referred to as lava tubes, manufacturers give their best into these models, and as a result these do not sell cheap. Personal Vapes are usually the largest; have perks like an LCD monitor that displays the wattage, battery level, number of puffs taken and a range of information that’d make your eyes glow; have LED lights to denote the on/off state of the device et cetera. Also, mechanisms to regulate the resistance of the atomizer is available.
For this reason, it is definitely not the best fit for a beginner or an inexperienced user. But for those who’ve had their fill with different types of e-cigs and are prepared to go for the ultimate e-cig, then it’s time to start reviewing the personal vapes on store shelves.
At any point in time, it is easy to figure where you’re at and how you’re progressing in your use of an e-cig. The types listed above are to guide your selection by acknowledging your preferences.
Now that we’ve discussed the components and types of e-cigs. Another important factor to note in your purchase electronic cigarette is the e-liquid.
The e-liquid in e-cigarettes
E-liquid are also called e-juice or just juice. This is the formula placed in the cartridge that’s heated to produce the areosol you inhale when you use an electronic cigarette. There are basically two variants, nicotine free e-liquid and e-liquids that contain nicotine. Beside this, there’re various flavorings (example menthol, coffee, chocolate etc.) that can be added in either of these variants to cater to specific user needs. The basic ingredients of the e-juice are propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerin (VG), and/or polyethylene glycol 400 (PEG400), nicotine, flavorings and sometimes alcohol. There’s no industry-wide standard on how much of which should be mixed, so the concentration of any of these ingredients are all over the place across e-liquids from different manufacturers.
The important question is why does this matter in your purchase of electronic cigarettes? The reason is simple, when you start out with e-cigs you want to go with prepared formulas from premium manufacturers. As you progress, you become more definite of how you want your aerosol to feel in your mouth, throat and lungs. And though sometimes, it will take a couple of testing of various e-liquids, at other times, you might just want to prepare your custom made e-liquid.
Whichever way, you’d want a refillable e-cig (most e-cigs are refillable), and a pack of ingredients should you want to custom make the e-liquid you’d use. When making a custom e-liquid, you should be careful when mixing and read through the product information from the manufacturer: reason for which you should shun the cheap packs with twisted English or foreign language for the slightly premium kinds preferably manufactured in the US, that’d give you easy to understand information so as to regulate your use.
Tips when purchasing electronic cigarettes
We’ve gone through virtually all there is to know about making a purchase of e-cigs, what’s left is the actual buying. But before you do, there are tips you should know:
The use of e-cigs has its risk factors which you should be aware of. Diabetic, high blood pressure patients have increased risk with use of electronic cigarettes. Same for those who are pregnant, have a family history of heart diseases or are on medication for depression and asthma. Playing down nicotine usage when using e-cigs would help if you’re on the list above, and citing the increased use of e-cigs as nicotine replacement products, e-cigs is a relatively healthier shift when contrasted with traditional cigarettes.
Don’t do cheap always, as that may cause you to own an e-cig or a component that you’d not feel good about. Pay close attention to product details and generally review any product you feel strongly about before committing your cash to it.